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Dec 13, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘Grand Center’

First Look: Squatter’s Café in Grand Center

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

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Grand Center is adding another spot to its roster of breakfast and lunch spots. Squatter’s Café, the daytime eatery from chef Rob Connoley, is set to open Monday, Nov. 6, at 3524 Washington Ave., the former location of KDHX’s Magnolia Café.

While the space itself has changed very little since the Magnolia days, the menu at Squatter’s is light-years removed from the previous bill of fare. Connoley, who was a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Southwest in 2014, has developed a streamlined menu that features frequent culinary surprises – like the tiny white chocolate cup filled with espresso nestled in the raw oatmeal, or the soup dumpling at the heart of the cassoulet.

“I don’t do health food, but I do healthy food,” Connoley said.

He has also recreated sophisticated versions of childhood favorites like Crunchy Cinnamon Toasters served with pecan milk and an upcoming take on the venerable Pop-Tart.

Sustainability is also a focus at Squatter’s. Most serving dishes are compostable, and the yogurt and raw oatmeal on the breakfast list are served in glass jars diners can take home.

The Squatter’s space has approximately 24 seats, but many of the menu offerings are made for the grab-and go contingent like the foldable Sidewalk Tart, Connoley said, is “a full breakfast you can hold in your hand as you walk down the street.”

Squatters Café will be open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Here’s a first look at Grand Center’s newest lunch spot:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Chef Rob Connoley will open Squatters Café in Grand Center

• Stage Left Diner closes in Grand Center

• First Look: Turn in Grand Center

Chef Rob Connoley will open Squatters Café in Grand Center

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

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Chef Rob Connoley will open Squatters Café in the KDHX building at 3524 Washington Ave., in Grand Center on Nov. 1. The restaurant will take the place of KDHX’s Magnolia Café.

“The kitchen already exists. It’s already inspected, so that’s why we’re able to open so quickly,” he said.

Connoley, a St. Louis native and James Beard semifinalist for 2014 Best Chef: Southwest, said the breakfast and lunch cafe will feature house-made and locally sourced ingredients. The menu is still a work in progress, but he plans to announce dishes soon.

“If we had opened this in June, and I would have had more access to local produce, I could give you a menu today,” he said. “I have a strong draft. I’m just working out some kinks.”

The restaurant will offer a grab-and-go and carryout options and will seat 20 to 24. Connoley said he will also have access to the attached performance space for additional seating.

Connoley returned to his hometown last year with plans to open Bulrush, a fine-dining concept highlighting local and foraged ingredients. He said Squatters Café is not replacing Bulrush, but will augment it.

“All along, the master plan was to have a nighttime and a daytime concept that were separate, because I think they both require certain attention that I didn’t think could be done in the same space,” he said. “With the delays [with Bulrush], it just made sense to switch it instead of waiting and waiting.”

Connoley said that despite the delays, he has his eyes on a location for Bulrush and hopes to announce the address by the end of the year.

“It’s the perfect space, so it’s worth waiting for,” Connoley said. “Bulrush is a one in a lifetime gig. I’m not a chef who jumps around and opens up a place every two or three years. It’s going to be my baby, and if it’s going to be my baby, it’s got to be perfect.”

 

Editor’s Note: This article originally said Bulrush would be open by the end of the year. It was updated at 1:25 p.m. on Oct. 3 to correct the error. 

Photo courtesy of Rob Connoley

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Stage Left Diner closes in Grand Center

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

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Stage Left Diner quietly closed its doors on Monday, July 31.

The diner, located at 541 N. Grand Blvd., debuted in September 2016, when owner Steve Smith and restaurant consultant Brad Beracha took over the space next-door to the Fabulous Fox Theatre from the former City Diner.

Beracha said the announcement was more abrupt than he liked, but necessary.

“The area is very event-driven and the off-season is very off, and we made a decision based on the sales and the short term to focus on other projects,” he said. “I’ve got my hands full with BaiKu and the City Foundry project opening in 2019. We have a lot of effort put into these projects, and a lot of exciting news is coming out within the next month or so.”

Beracha said there are currently no plans for the space, which is owned by Fox Associates.

In a press release, Smith, who also owns BaiKu Sushi Lounge and Triumph Grill, thanked the diner’s patrons for their support. “The challenges to grow the Stage Left Diner brand were too difficult to overcome, and the decision to close was made so that our focus could shift to our other restaurants,” he said.

Photo by Michelle Volanksy 

Rachel Wilson is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine.

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First Look: Stage Left Diner in Grand Center

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First Look: Turn in Grand Center

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

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{ Turn chef-owner David Kirkland }

 

Turn, the breakfast and lunch spot from chef-owner David Kirkland, officially opened on May 7 on the first floor of the .ZACK building at 3224 Locust St. in Grand Center.

Turn is a study in minimalism. Cool blues, grays and whites dominate, and tall windows on two sides of the dining room let in plenty of light, giving the space an open airiness. The lofty ceilings enhance the effect. Patrons who used to frequent Plush, the funky coffee house/restaurant/performance venue that used to call the building home, will hardly recognize it.

The name Turn has many meanings. It’s a nod to another of Kirkland’s passions — DJing — as are the classic album covers on the wall and the LP-sized food menus, divided into sides A and B. It also refers to Kirkland’s penchant the new ingredients each season brings and turning tables during service.

Kirkland intends to explore new flavors on the menu, like the arepa, featuring grilled corn cakes, chorizo and salsa verde, and some will recognize a few of Kirkland’s signatures during his tenure as Cafe Osage executive chef.

“A biscuit and gravy variation will follow me everywhere I go,” Kirkland said.

Though it’s only open from breakfast and lunch, there are plenty of adult beverages to choose from, including cocktails, wine and beer. Coffee fans can also indulge in espressos, cold brews and lattes.

Kirkland intends to host a monthly dinner series and possibly host culinary event that coincide with theater productions in the area. Turn is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect from the newest restaurant in Grand Center.

 

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Photos by Michelle Volanksy

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Sophie’s, an artist lounge and bar, to open in .ZACK space

• The Scoop: French patisserie opens in Grand Center

• The Scoop: David Kirkland to leave Café Osage, open catering company and restaurant

The Scoop: Sophie’s, an artist lounge and bar, to open in .ZACK space

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

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Grand Center will welcome a new addition to the neighborhood next week when Sophie’s Artist Lounge & Cocktail Club opens its doors on Friday, April 14.

The club will be located on the second floor of the .ZACK multipurpose arts venue at 3224 Locust St., the former home of Plush, which is owned by the Kranzberg Arts Foundation. Other .ZACK tenants include the restaurant Turn by David Kirkland, a 200-seat theater, an art incubator, a record store, a ballroom and a variety of offices and commercial spaces.

“Sophie’s Artist Lounge & Cocktail Club is meant to be an amenity for our resident organizations and their cast, crews and patrons to come together to connect and celebrate their work,” said Chris Hansen, executive director of the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, adding that the club will also be open to the general public.

The interior of the space, which seats approximately 50, was designed by SPACE Architecture & Design. It will be open Wednesday to Saturday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sophie’s patrons can indulge in a selection of cocktails, beer and wine, along with a small menu of bar snacks and play classic board games. Hansen said the venue will also play host to networking and connectivity events designed to help bring together the arts community.

Logo courtesy of Kranzberg Arts Foundation 

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First Look: The Dark Room at Grandel Square 

The Scoop: French patisserie opens in Grand Center

The Scoop: David Kirkland to leave Café Osage, open catering company and restaurant

 

First Look: The Dark Room at Grandel Square 

Monday, March 6th, 2017

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The Dark Room Wine Bar & Photo Gallery has reopened in its new location at 3610 Grandel Square in the Grand Center Arts District. As The Scoop reported in November, the bar is now housed in the Grandel Theatre building. The bar is now designated as a nonprofit under the umbrella of the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, with about 40 cents from each dollar going to support local arts.

The space, menu, hours and stage have all expanded with the new location. The Dark Room now seats more than 70 with better acoustics for live music, ample standing room and increased gallery space, so patrons can enjoy rotating photography exhibits without standing over seated diners.

“Most brands don’t get this kind of opportunity to evolve and get a second start,” said director of hospitality Denise Mueller. She hopes the bar will become a neighborhood staple and nightlife destination with its new lunch and brunch menus and late-night happy hour deals. The bar also plans to open an extensive patio with an outdoor bar this May.

The Dark Room is now open Wednesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Happy hour deals from 3 to 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday brunch is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Get a First Look at The Dark Room’s new home:

 

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Editor’s note: This post was updated at 4:50 p.m. to adjust hours of operation.  

Photos by Michelle Volansky

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The Scoop: The Dark Room to move to Grandel Theater 

The Scoop: Chef Samantha Pretto joins The Dark Room

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The Scoop: French patisserie opens in Grand Center

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

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French pastry fans have a new place in Grand Center to satisfy their cravings. Mother and daughter duo Christine and Clemence Pereur, who hail from Conde-Sainte-Libiaire, France, opened Like Home French Café & Pastry on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 3855 Lindell Blvd.

 

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The small shop, which seats about 20, has a daily rotating menu of various macarons and pastries, plus breakfast and lunch offerings like soups, salads, sandwiches, quiches and tartines. Clemence Pereur, who formerly held the pastry chef position at Saint Louis Club, handles pastry duties while her mother, Christine, bakes all the breads. Hours of operation for the patisserie are Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

First Look: Stage Left Diner in Grand Center

Friday, September 16th, 2016

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Stage Left Diner is currently in dress rehearsals at 541 N. Grand Blvd. As The Scoop reported earlier this week, the former City Diner in Grand Center underwent a concept change after owner Steve Smith bought out the former owners.

Rev Hospitality president Brad Beracha frequently consults at Smith’s restaurants (including Triumph Grill and BaiKu Sushi Lounge), and he lent his expertise to the latest project. Beracha said he and the new management focused on improving the overall customer service experience and brightening up the space with a fresh coat of paint.

Arguably the most notable change is executive chef Ryan Cooper’s new menu, which includes classic diner dishes like smashed griddle burgers and lighter fare like a portobello sandwich. A forthcoming liquor license will see boozy milkshakes, but customers can also enjoy a full menu of espresso coffee drinks and or a pull of nitro cold brew coffee.

Stage Left Diner hosts its grand opening Sept. 24, and it is currently open Monday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to midnight. Here’s a First Look at the new face of a familiar diner in Grand Center.

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

 

 

The Scoop: Stage Left Diner to take the spotlight in Midtown

Monday, September 12th, 2016

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The former City Diner space at 541 N. Grand Blvd. has a fresh new name and look. Stage Left Diner (named for its next-door location to The Fabulous Fox Theatre) will host its grand opening Sept. 24, according to Brad Beracha, who serves as restaurant consultant on this project.

Beracha said Stage Left Diner owner Steve Smith has made several changes to the space in recent months, updating the interior design and improving the overall customer service experience. “The culture has changed drastically,” Beracha said. “It’s an intangible, but the energy and feel of the restaurant is much improved.”

Customers will also see changes on a new menu created by chef Ryan Cooper. Cooper previously served as chef de cuisine at Beracha’s now-shuttered Araka, and he’s spent the last two years working in kitchens at Smith’s Triumph Grill and BaiKu Sushi Lounge. While the menu still includes diner classics like meatloaf, burgers and a slew of breakfast options, lighter fare is also a focus of the new concept. “It’s still very large, just more health conscious,” Beracha said, noting items like a kale and apple salad, a portabello sandwich and crepes.

Recognizing that many of their customers will attend performances after dining, Beracha said the menu is also built for speed. “If we shave three or four minutes off a customer experience when they’re trying to get to a show, that’s valuable time,” he said.

It’s not only the theater crowd that Stage Left Diner is after, though. Beracha said he hopes new large developments like City Foundry and upcoming Hotel Agnad (slated to open in 2018 and 2017, respectively) will spur increased interest in Grand Center and Midtown. “We’d love for Midtown to be on the map (like) the Central West End and Clayton,” he said.

Stage Left Diner is currently open Monday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to midnight.

 

The Scoop: David Kirkland to leave Café Osage, open catering company and restaurant

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

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Chef David Kirkland will depart Café Osage on Tuesday, April 12 and head to Grand Center, where he said he will start David Kirkland Catering this summer and open a to-be-named restaurant in spring 2017.

The restaurant will be located at 3224 Locust St., on the building’s first floor. The Kranzberg Arts Foundation is developing entire building. When complete, it will include a theater, event space and commercial office space.

“Everything is happening in Grand Center right now,” Kirkland said. “There are amazing restaurants like Small Batch, Pappy’s and Southern that are anchors in the area.”

Kirkland went on to describe his catering menu and restaurant concept as fresh and forward, capitalizing on local and seasonal sourcing. When open, the restaurant will serve breakfast and lunch and host monthly dinners.

 

 

 

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